Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

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meg383
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Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby meg383 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:09 am

I'm wondering if anyone out there has any recommendations for ice climbing gloves that are very warm. I have Raynaud's, so my fingers tend to get cold very fast. I've done ok in the past with a layering system of a liner and either a mitt or a larger glove + hand warmer, but there isn't much dexterity allowed with that. I've been eyeing up the Outdoor Research Alti, but I've also come across some gloves online that have battery-charged heaters in them (Titan Leather Heated Gloves). Anyone have any reviews of those - do they actually work and last the whole day?
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jsdratm
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby jsdratm » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:23 am

I have had both versions of the Alti and found that the glove model didn't work nearly as well as the mitten model. They may have changed in the newer designs, but my gloves felt like they were leaking heat and the insulation seemed lower quality. The mitten model is also rated to -40F whereas the glove is rated to -20F. The mittens are awesome and keep my hands warm anywhere, plus you can just wear the shell if it is warmer out.

I've heard good things about the Black Diamond "Lobster" mittens, which have a free index finger and make it easier to hold an ice axe. Nonetheless, I was able to handle my ice axe okay and perform self-arrests multiple times in a CMC class while wearing the full Alti mittens.
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flyingmagpie
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby flyingmagpie » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:37 am

meg383--
You should send a PM to Teresa Gergen addressing this issue. Look up her name in the membership roster. She is using her real name. I believe Teresa still holds the record for climbing all the 13ers in the least amount of time, so she is quite a climber. She is also someone who believes in confronting and overcoming whatever has the potential to hold someone back from whatever he or she wants to do. I think she might have some good advice for you! Don't worry--there are steps you can take to compensate for Raynaud's, and climb on!
"I've found the truest paths always lead through mountains."

--Kate Wolf, "An Unfinished Life"
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Dave B
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby Dave B » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:58 am

Are you planning on leading? If not, just buy a warm pair of mitts. The Black Diamond mercury mitts are warm and cheap. Keep one or a couple hand warmer packets in the liner.

If you're planning on leading or in anyway needing dexterity to place/remove ice screw, clip biners etc, you're going to have to settle for a thinner glove that is less warm and wear mitts between pitches.

I've got hands that go numb in a second, but have had pretty good success with climbing in the Arc'teryx Venta SV gloves and wearing mercury mitts at belays. The Venta SVs have crazy good dexterity and are pretty warm but are no where near the warmest gloves available. I found the alti-gloves to have piss-poor dexterity so I've never given them a shot.

Battery heated gloves may not be a bad idea though. The Cayenne by Black Diamond seems like a nice glove. You can typically find them in a variety of sizes on Gear Trade for <$200.

With all of that said, this year I'm going to try Murray's Method for rehabing Raynaud's, it was developed by the Military.

Equipment: 2 – 4 Styrofoam coolers, 2 for hands + 2 for feet.
Warm water.
Warm inside & cool, <32°F (0°C) outside.
Fill the Styrofoam coolers with warm water, 105°F – 110°F, one set inside and one set outside.
Start inside, dressed lightly so that you are comfortable, and sit with your hands or feet in the warm water for about 5 mintues; then, get up and go outside. Stay lightly dressed, and put your hands or feet in the warm water outside, for 5 – 10 minutes.
For this to work your body has to be able to cool off while your hands and feet stay warm. This is the re-education process.
You have to repeat this process about 50 times. It seems to be most effective when you do this about 5 times a day, every other day.
The mountains - whose summits reach or exceed arbitrary thresholds for elevation and prominence - are calling and I must go.

-John Muir
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby davidponak » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:02 am

jsdratm wrote:I've heard good things about the Black Diamond "Lobster" mittens, which have a free index finger and make it easier to hold an ice axe. Nonetheless, I was able to handle my ice axe okay and perform self-arrests multiple times in a CMC class while wearing the full Alti mittens.


I would disagree with this, my fingers get cold pretty easy and in high wind with Black Diamond Lobster mittens and black diamond wind weight liners inside, my fingers have hurt painfully already this year, after the first snows in IPW in 35-40 mph wind up top when it was only just below freezing. In very little wind the lobster gloves work fine below 0 but they are not very wind proof.
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby Teresa Gergen » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:06 am

Thanks, flyingmagpie, for your kind words. For the record, I believe there are others now who have completed the 13ers in less time.

I thought about answering meg383's post as soon as I saw it, but unfortunately I can't address it directly, as I don't ice climb - specifically because I have Raynaud's. I have never found any glove that is sufficiently warm enough, especially if you're sitting around belaying part of the time and holding tools in your hands the rest of the time. That includes battery-operated ones, although it's been years since I tried a pair of those. Maybe there are products out there now that work better since the last time I looked around.

Ice climbing aside, I've never had trouble holding and controlling a mountaineering axe with thick mitts, including during practice and real self-arrests.

The OR Alti mitts are the best I've found. With Raynaud's, you tend to need more warmth for your fingers than you really need for the weather, so your hands are likely to sweat. A mitt with an inner liner that can be taken out to dry is much better than a single layer that is hard to dry out for a second day of climbing in a row.

Handwarmers are critical for me. I've found the "Little Hotties" brand works better / lasts longer than others. They're available at Costco. I need them across the fingertips, not in the palm - wouldn't work with gloves. In a mitt, they usually last well over 12 hours.

I haven't had any luck with the capsaican creams or supplements.

The most useful advice I can give for Raynaud's sufferers is to ask your doctor about nifedipine (Procardia). There are two varieties, an extended release and an all-at-once. I've heard that one or the other works better for different people. The extended release wasn't strong enough at the start for me, when it's typically the coldest and you haven't warmed up yet. The all-at-once can leave you dizzy at first, but I can actually feel the warmth reach my fingers from the inside within 15-20 minutes. Experiment first to see how you react to it before doing something serious. You only take it on the days you're going out. I only need to take 10 mg of the all-at-once variety once a day, even for very long days, when I'm out. Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker, not a blood thinner, so it's not a problem in a sport where you might end up with cuts and scrapes. It can lower blood pressure, and has other side effects, so you need to discuss it with your doctor.
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:07 am

Dave B wrote: this year I'm going to try Murray's Method for rehabing Raynaud's

Holy cow! Dave, that sounds very interesting. Please let me know how it goes!
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby highplaces » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:18 am

I have Raynaud's and agree with the recommendation of OR Alti Mitts plus handwarmers. I wear a thin glove liner as well. The Alti Mitt has an inner and outer mitt. This allows for many combinations depending on temps,winds and exertion.
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby JLOHARA » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:22 am

Nothing. For me I have spent thousands on quality gear. Never found anything that works. My disability, I can only hike above 55 degrees. :cry:
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meg383
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby meg383 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:19 am

Dave B wrote:Are you planning on leading? If not, just buy a warm pair of mitts. The Black Diamond mercury mitts are warm and cheap. Keep one or a couple hand warmer packets in the liner.

If you're planning on leading or in anyway needing dexterity to place/remove ice screw, clip biners etc, you're going to have to settle for a thinner glove that is less warm and wear mitts between pitches.



I was hoping to be able to lead at some point, but didn't know if it would become a reality due to this problem. Looks like I'll stick with mitts for any time when I don't need the dexterity. I've also come across Murray's Method before, so I'm hoping to try that soon, too!

Thanks for your help everyone! :)
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby ajkagy » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:55 am

http://www.warmthru.com/acatalog/NEW-G4-Heated-Gloveliners--Black.html

heated glove liners, dexterity when it's not too cold and can go inside of a glove when it gets really cold.
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Re: Best climbing gloves for Raynaud's sufferer?

Postby happymtnclimber » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:11 am

Dave B wrote:Battery heated gloves may not be a bad idea though. The Cayenne by Black Diamond seems like a nice glove. You can typically find them in a variety of sizes on Gear Trade for <$200.


I got some frostbite in Alaska and since then have had a problem with cole/numb/painful finger tips. I have the BD Cayennes and they help so much! On the 1 out of 3 setting they provide a low level of heat, but just enough to keep my hands from pain. On this setting they last about 10 hours, but I also find that turning on one hour off the next ect. rotation helps. If you get extra batteries (extra 30$ but also hard to find) that can make them more practical for longer trips. In terms of dexterity I've found them to be quite good, certainly enough to hold an ice axe, set up a tent, boil water, ect. Not going to be doing any 5.9's but other than that they're solid. Very warm alone too.

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